Upcycling is a bit of a buzz word just now, simply it involves taking a piece of furniture and giving it a new lease of life. Whether you paint it, add new handles or embellish it with wallpaper, stencils or wheels. The first time I upcycled was when I was a teenager when I was given free rein to redesign my bedroom. I picked up two wooden chest of drawers from Dens Road Market. In terms of construction they were solid, but needed some attention as the wood was chipped and scratched. I wanted to paint them anyway to give them modern feel as well as co-ordinating with my blue and turquoise colour scheme! I was fairly chuffed with my efforts and was asked by friends to do the same for their bedroom furniture. It is something I have done ever since. I bought four bent wood chairs from Tayside Recycle Centre for £20 a few years back and have been several colours since. This bright orange was the first colour I painted it, it is now a lovely matt grey.
Upcylcling has its fair share of negative press, as it is something you associate with being on home make-over shows. Generally done in a rush, poorly executed and probably not something you would want in your house. However lots of designers out there are helping to give upcylcing a good reputation such as Ines Cole, Polly Granville
They lovingly restore and are completed to a high standard and generally not something that everyone could achieve. There are dedicated websites and blogs to upcycling and if you follow the steps, do the necessary prep and use the right products for the material you are working with I can be a simple afternoon project. You can end up with a unique and affordable piece of furniture that will reflect your personality last as long as you want it too.
The picture below, is a project I did when I was at DJCAD back in 2006/2007, can’t quite remember! I found this war ammunitions chest in my Grandad’s attic and I cleaned it all up and added this shelving out of plywood. It was a great project and have used it ever since. It is not something you will find in a store and the fact you have had a part in restoring it and adding to it is becomes a special piece.
If upcycling or finding a unique pre owned/loved item then you should put a date in your diary to come along to the World’s Smallest Street Market in Dundee, Johnston’s Lane (behind the Globe Bar) where Spex Pistols premises is. Lots of interesting items for sale, that you won’t find in any shops.